Museums and Art Galleries in San Jose, San Jose (Self Guided)

San Jose has a rich history when it comes to culture, education and recreation. It is home to several museums and art galleries. Take the following tour to visit some of the most fascinating ones San Jose has to offer.
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Museums and Art Galleries in San Jose Map

Guide Name: Museums and Art Galleries in San Jose
Guide Location: USA » San Jose (See other walking tours in San Jose)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Author: AlexanderA
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Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

1) Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose (must see)

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose (CDM) is located on Woz Way in downtown San Jose. Woz Way is named after Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, whose nickname is "Woz," and who was the single largest private donor during the original capital campaign that funded the Museum.

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose has been ranked by Child Magazine as one of the top 10 children’s museums in the U.S. and ranked by the London Observer as one of the top 5 science centers in the world. It opened its doors in 1990, and over 6 million visitors have attended. The Museum builds and displays interactive exhibits that they believe respond to children's diverse educational needs. The 52,000-square-foot purple building was designed by Mexico City-based architect Ricardo Legorreta.

The Museum’s signature programs such as BioSITE and Discovery Youth encompass the broad themes of community, connections and creativity. These programs are intended to provide facilitated, focused, and sustained learning. The Museum’s goal is to create interactive exhibits that invite self-directed, open-ended explorations.

The Discovery Museum was designed by the world famous Mexican Architect Ricardo Legorreta. The building exemplifies his use of color, light, shadows, and water. The violet colors change from light blues to dark purples, depending on the shadows, time of year, and angle of the sun through what seem to be stragetically placed windows. This building give the City of San José two world-class structures of significant architectural importance.

Operation hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 12 – 5 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

2) San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (must see)

The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is an art museum in Downtown San Jose founded in 1977. It is the first in the United States devoted solely to quilts and textiles as an art form. Holdings include a permanent collection of over 550 quilts, garments and ethnic textiles, emphasizing artists of the 20th- and 21st-century, and a research library with over 500 books concerning the history and techniques of the craft.The Museum of Quilts & Textiles had its beginnings as the American Museum of Quilts and Related Arts, founded in Los Altos, California by the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association in 1977.

It was incorporated in 1986 as a nonprofit public benefit museum, managed by a board of trustees. It relocated several times until it moved into its 13,000 sq ft (1,200 m2) permanent home in San Jose’s SoFA (South First Area) Arts District in 2005.The Museum provides exhibitions from around the world, focusing on the way people of many cultures use textiles to make their voices heard. Many of the artists on exhibit at the Museum incorporate modern technology into the basic traditions of fiber art. Exhibitions and individual installations typically remain on view 3 months.

Operation hours: Wednesday - Friday: 11 am - 4 pm; Saturday & Sunday: 11 am - 3 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
San Jose Works

3) San Jose Works

San Jose Works, founded in 1977 as a volunteer organization, exhibits contemporary works of art expressing a variety of styles and viewpoints. This unique gallery is open Fridays from 12 pm to 6 pm and Saturdays, Sundays from 12 pm to 4 pm.
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Anno Domini

4) Anno Domini

Anno Domini will change the way you perceive art. It contains works of young local and international artists, including contemporary expressions such as graffiti and tattoo art. Its walls are covered in murals painted by exhibiting artists. Anno Domini has brought several countercultures to the forefront of the art scene and attracts people from all around. It is open Tuesday-Friday: 12 pm- 7 pm and Saturday 12 pm- 5 pm.
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Tech Museum of Innovation

5) Tech Museum of Innovation (must see)

The Tech Museum of Innovation, or simply The Tech, is a museum located in the heart of Silicon Valley, in downtown San Jose. Planning began in 1978 by members of the Junior League of Palo Alto and later assistance by the San Jose Junior League. A temporary exhibit finally opened in 1990 “The Garage” as it was named. It was held in San Jose’s former convention center. On October 31, 1998, it opened a brand-new 132,000-square-foot facility, and has had 4,000,000 visitors.

The museum is composed of three floors, each with its own significance. The ground floor has the main entrance, a gift shop and cafe, the Imax theater, and a recreational area that is reserved for special events. The Tech Store contains various gifts, shirts and souvenirs. The ground level is a location where Segway and other robotic demos are displayed and given. The Tech Museum's architecture is the work of Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta.

Four major theme galleries fill the upper level and lower level of the museum: Communication, Exploration, Innovation and Life Tech. On the lower level there is also a public piece of artwork titled “Origin”, which is inside a 45-foot-tall cylinder.

The Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater shows mainstream movies as well as educational films. It is Northern California’s only domed IMAX Theater and can seat up to 295 people.

Operation hours: Monday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
San Jose Museum of Art

6) San Jose Museum of Art (must see)

The San Jose Museum of Art is an art museum in Downtown San Jose founded in 1969. It hosts a large permanent collection emphasizing West Coast artists of the 20th- and 21st-century. The museum's historic wing was originally designed by architect Willoughby J. Edbrooke and built as the San Jose post office in 1892, then served as the city's library from 1937 to 1969. The "New Wing", comprising the majority of the current exhibition space, opened in 1991. Many of the changing exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Art focus on the West Coast and California.

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, a great many exhibitions are centered on the intersection of art and technology. Exhibitions and individual installations typically remain on view between 4 to 6 months. The collection includes more than 2,000 works in a variety of media, including sculpture, paintings, prints, digital media, photographs, and drawings by artists such as Robert Arneson, Milton Avery, Gregory Barsamian, Joan Brown, and many more.

In 2007 the San Jose Museum of Art won the prestigious MUSE award from the American Association of Museums Technology Committee.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Japanese American Museum of San Jose

7) Japanese American Museum of San Jose (must see)

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) is located at 535 N. Fifth Street in San Jose, in the heart of Japantown. The museum's mission is to collect, preserve, and share Japanese American art, history, and culture with an emphasis on the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. The JAMsj was established in November 1987. It grew out of a 1984-86 research project on Japanese American farmers in the Santa Clara Valley. The farming project collected family histories, historical photographs, private memoirs and other unpublished documents and led to the development of a curriculum package on Japanese American history, which was adopted for use by the San Jose Unified and Eastside Union High School Districts.

JAMsj's workshop on developing family histories provided documentary materials and photos included in the award-winning book Japanese Legacy: Farming and Community Life in California's Santa Clara Valley (1985) co-authored by Timothy J. Lukes, Ph.D. and Gary Y. Okihiro, Ph.D.

The museum started in the historic Issei Memorial Building (formerly the Kuwabara Hospital) with the help and support of the Japanese American Citizens League, San Jose Chapter. In 2002, the name changed from Japanese American Resource Center/Museum (JARC/M) to Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) to better reflect the museum's archival focus. JAMsj now occupies the former residence of Tokio Ishikawa, M.D. two doors south on North Fifth Street. The original JAMsj building was demolished in 2008. The new museum re-opened in October, 2010.

Operation hours: Thursday – Sunday: 12 – 4 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in San Jose, California

Create Your Own Walk in San Jose

Create Your Own Walk in San Jose

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Jose is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
San Jose Cultural Tour

San Jose Cultural Tour

San Jose offers numerous art galleries, museums and theaters with unique exhibits and performances. You will be amazed at how much San Jose has to offer in this respect. Many of its venues boast beauty and function in their architecture. Take the following tour to discover San Jose’s rich cultural scene.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
Japantown Specialty Shopping Tour, San Jose

Japantown Specialty Shopping Tour, San Jose

One of three official Japantowns in the United States, during World War II the Japanese population of this area was forcibly interned in camps. After the war, many Japanese Americans returned and started businesses here. Shops in Japantown offer traditional Japanese merchandise, as well as Korean, Mexican and Hawaiian goods. Take the following tour to discover the best in San Jose Japantown’s...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 km
San Jose Daily Life Tour

San Jose Daily Life Tour

Discover the everyday lives of San Jose residents. You will become acquainted with various aspects of city life, including where locals work, study, eat, relax and attend special events. Get a taste of San Jose’s daily life in the following tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Downtown Orientation Walk

Downtown Orientation Walk

California's San Jose is where vintage and ultra-modern come to live in a perfect harmony. The city's architecture partially reflects Spanish Colonial heritage and the influence of the nearby Silicon Valley, a major technological hub in Bay Area. The key landmarks making up downtown San Jose include the San Jose Museum of Art, Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, Circle of Palms Plaza, San...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in San Jose for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best San Jose has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as San Jose, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.